CGM
January 3, 2021
By Greg Hugh.
It has been a long and uncertain journey, but Chinese American veterans who served their country in World War II were finally awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on Dec. 9, 2020.
Efforts to enact the Congressional Gold Medal Act for these Chinese American veterans first began in December 2016. An exploratory committee led by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA) set out to secure the support of members of Congress. The bill, first introduced to the Senate and the House of Representatives in May 2017, was ultimately passed on and signed by President Donald Trump Dec. 20, 2018.
NY Chinatown images
December 31, 2020
by China Insight.
While air travel is still risky health-wise and lockdowns are common, here is a chance for us to “travel” and see New York City’s Chinatown.
The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) and the Center for Jewish History (CJH) are co-hosting a new online exhibition, “An Unlikely Photojournalist: Emile Bocian in Chinatown,” at https://exhibits.cjh.org/bocian.
Beijing 2020 Olympics
December 31, 2020
by Elaine Dunn, China Insight.
The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing opened with great fanfare. It was China’s debut on the world stage, an opportunity to showcase its history, culture and its athletes to a global audience. Fast forward to the 2022 Winter Olympics. Once again, Beijing will be the venue. However, circumstances are quite different.
2021 Chinese Holidays
December 31, 2020
Compiled by China Insight.
China’s 2021 holiday schedule will, per tradition, include two week-long holidays: Chinese New Year, aka Spring Festival, which will take place Feb. 11-17; and the National Day Holiday, Oct. 1-7.
Society Fat Size
December 31, 2020
compiled by China Insight.
On Nov. 11, a netizen posted an image of an apparel size chart seen at a Taiwanese chain store in China, saying, “I was shocked when I saw this size chart at a RT-Mart today. Am I completely rotten?” That image and post went viral and it enraged the online community, causing the company’s China Division to issue a public apology the following day.
Garden202011
November 2020
by Bill Zajicek, president, Minnesota China Friendship Garden Society.

There were two large volunteer projects at the garden this summer/fall. As a result, the rock garden was completely weeded and mulched; the donor stanchion received a new coat of paint, the Hmong Heritage Wall was painted, and as a gift from the Minnesota Peony Society, nine peonies were planted: three each of herbaceous “Krinkled White,” herbaceous “America Red” and tree peonies (Fuji-Zome-Goromo, Renkaku, Tai Hai)!!!
HKU
November 2020
By Elaine Dunn

The Hong Kong University (HKU) appointed two mainland Chinese scholars to its governing council, one of whom is alleged to have direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Book Review 202011
November 2020
By China Insight

You may notice the more-than-usual number of books included this issue. With Christmas giving around the corner and the snowy winter approaching, China Insight thought these titles may provide gift ideas or just material for a “good read” in front of the fireplace.
Enjoy!
GoodJob_Deed
November 2020
[ST. PAUL]
– Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove announced the #GoodJobsNow campaign with Rick Trontvet from Marvin Windows in Warroad and Traci Tapani from Wyoming Machine in Stacy.
Covid
October 2020
Like other com- munities, our Chinese American commu- nity has been hit hard physically, mentally and economically.
Fall Colors
October 2020
In this year of coronavirus, we can find joy in the beauty of nature and celebrate festival traditions with tastes of mooncake on the trail.
Publisher Pronouncement
October 2020
With the 2020 U.S national election approximately a month away, will Asian American voters make a difference in the U.S. political fabric?
Republicans
October 2020
The resolution “calls on all public of- ficials to condemn and denounce anti-Asian sentiment, racism, discrimination, and re- ligious intolerance related to COVID-19”
Canton Fair
October 2020
The 10-day virtual 128th session will go online from Oct. 15-24.
HK Press
September 2020
On June 30, 2020, the Beijing government stepped in on Hong Kong’s governance and enacted the Hong Kong National Security Law
Lauren Food Blog
September 2020
March 16, 2020, a Monday, is a day I will never forget; it’s the day all my jobs essentially vanished. At the time, I was living in New York City, auditioning and performing.
Chang Wang - CAAPM
September 2020
Chang Wang, a regular China Insight contributor, to the Board of Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans (CAPM) to represent the Chinese Minnesotans at the Council and the State government.
China Garden
Septemebr 2020
These gardens are all more expensive than anticipated.

By Zhang Chunyan, China Daily , August 18

Depreciation of China's currency offers opportunities for economies in Europe

Last week's depreciation of the yuan stoked fears that European exports to China could be hit.  As the euro and the pound strengthened, concerns started to grow that companies selling goods to the second-biggest economy in the world would see their trading margins shrink.

 

But that scenario is unlikely to be played out in the long term as the yuan becomes a major global currency.  The People's Bank of China, or central bank, made the decision to reform the exchange rate mechanism to better reflect the yuan's strength against the US dollar.

The International Monetary Fund called the move to allow a greater role for market forces in China's currency "a welcome step."  And this will certainly raise the prospects for the yuan to join the IMF Special Drawing Rights currency basket, which consists of the U.S. dollar, the euro, the pound and the yen, sooner rather than later.

In recent years, London, Frankfurt and Paris, along with Luxembourg, have vied to become the main trading center for offshore yuan payments in Europe.

Roughly one in five companies on the continent invoice in yuan.  Around 80 percent of non-yuan users want to switch to the currency for invoicing, according to Frankfurt Main Finance, a group supporting Germany's financial center.  At a global level, yuan payments increased in value by 29 percent in March 2014 compared to a month earlier.

China's central bank has promised more foreign exchange reform along the lines of "market-orientation," and this in turn will produce greater opportunities for Europe's main financial centers.

Naturally, the weaker yuan will boost China's struggling exporters as their products become cheaper for overseas buyers.  This will mean foreign goods will become more expensive for Chinese consumers.

But high quality European products are unlikely to suffer.  China's consumers are becoming more affluent and they will continue to buy brands they respect and trust.  Analysts have highlighted the challenges facing luxury labels, which have counted on Chinese shoppers to boost sales growth and increase profit margins.

In the past four years, luxury brand consumption has surged at rates of between 16 percent and 20 percent annually.  Despite the depreciation in the yuan, demand for these products among the country's wealthy middle class will stay strong.  European brands such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry and automaker BMW will continue to remain popular.

The rise of e-commerce has helped fuel demand from Chinese consumers who have refused to compromise on cheaper alternatives.  Slightly higher prices will not dent their enthusiasm for these major brands.

Apart from luxury labels, another growing sector for European companies is the food and beverage industry.  Exports of fruit, cheeses and wines from the continent are growing as well as chocolate products.

According to the Chinese Embassy in London, China has become the United Kingdom's second most important food market outside the European Union.  Last year, exports of pork and salmon almost doubled.

Another key area is Chinese investment in European countries.  That has increased during the past five years and it looks likely to continue as Chinese companies expand their global presence.

In the United Kingdom, Chinese investment has been encouraged in infrastructure, transport and energy sectors.  High-speed rail networks, offshore wind power and solar projects have been three key areas that have attracted attention.

Overall, as China shifts toward domestic consumption and greater innovation in its manufacturing industry, economic growth will become more stable.  At the same time, the Chinese market will continue to open up, while domestic companies will forge ahead on the international stage.

In the meantime, the depreciation of the yuan will be an unexpected bonus for the tourism industry.  European visitors will benefit from the cheaper currency and stimulate growth in the travel sector.  Between January and May this year, the number of inbound tourists to China increased by 4.8 percent to 54.58 million compared with the same period in 2014, according to the China Tourism Academy.

While visitors from Asian countries made up 64 percent of that total, the share of European tourists dropped as the yuan strengthened and economic recovery in Europe slowed.  Maybe now, increased spending power will reverse that trend.

 

 

 

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

CHINAINSIGHT is the only English-language American newspaper to focus exclusively on connections between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

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